Retention of Participants in Youth Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

(Why I Quit Hockey... Keep Your Priorities Straight)

The mark of success is often due to goals in a hockey match, but in practice other performances are equally important, and that should be realized the people who are encouraging the player. The supporters often want the player to carry out action on the field that the player cannot do due to his deficiencies in some areas, though that does not make him any less a player. The players often get encouragement from their non-tournament performance as then they can perform without tension and this improves their capacities as a player. The supporters keep advising the coaches about what they should or should not do, and often enough even the players knows that such an action will be wrong. The players are aware that their game is costing the guardians money, and to them it seems that the guardian is not happy. This makes them feel hurt and they would prefer to get out of the game. (Why I Quit Hockey... Keep Your Priorities Straight)

What is there in the game?

Teaching of the game of hockey as such has to start from the knowledge that it is really a game which requires certain skills which have to be passed on to the students who are learning the game. The entire process consists of a few lessons - the knowledge of the learner as to the method of holding on to the stick; the knowledge of how one should balance oneself on the skates even when the person is being pushed or shoved by others; the player has to know the methods of skating forwards and backwards; the students have to learn how to shoot the puck accurately both on the ice and in the air for all shots like wrist shots, backhands and slap shots; the learner has to learn how a pass is received without the puck bouncing off the stick; the learner has to know the rules and how to play in all positions both in the defense and attack. Yet the situation today is that all coaches concentrate on many books and coaching guides which are meant to develop hockey skills in the players. (the Root of All Problems in Minor Hockey Today? Coaches Are Too Well Trained!)

This is leading to the usage of drills even at the school level that were earlier used only at the Junior or Professional levels and the reason for late usage was the complexity that was involved with the practices. Thus, some practices look like a three ring circus and even the value of a coach is determined by the complexity of his methods. In the earlier years, the coach concentrated only on a few skating drills; some shooting at the goalies and spent the rest of the time on scrimmaging. This sort of practice is best suited for junior hockey and even the coaches for minor hockey teams now use these techniques for the younger players. The result of the new techniques is that there has been a decline in the number of players who are capable of holding on to the puck during their movements in and around their opponents. The end to end rushes have also become far fewer.

In the situation today, a player is supposed to hold on to his position and dump or chase the puck into corners. The player is supposed to go over the red line and then dump it in. As a result of these efforts, it is certain that some players of the opposition target the player and get hurt. This is due to the opposition players having learnt that it is easier to hook, hold, trip, slash and check than to skate at a high speed to catch up with the opposition player. This has made defense the most important activity for most teams. The teams today do not try score on their own, but try to score from the lapses of the opposing team, and thus the game is becoming a defensive game. Combined with this, the young learners are being forced to learn to play in a position while their full development as a player has not taken place. (the Root of All Problems in Minor Hockey Today? Coaches Are Too Well Trained!)

Hockey Tournaments

Another problem with the development of hockey has been the tournaments which have become very popular over the last ten or fifteen years. It is quite a practice for many teams to take part in many tournaments during every season. The number of tournaments may be five or even six. The number of tournaments is independent of the clubs being house league or representative clubs. These tournaments are held during Friday to Sunday of every week in season and guarantee every club that they will get a minimum of three games. If the team manages to perform well, then the team may get even more games during that period - as many as six. This happens when the teams reach the championship level. The main aim of these tournaments is to earn money. The aim is to collect together a number of teams with a reputation, organize a compressed competition, charge the teams entering the championship a high entry fee; sell tickets to the parents or others who come to see the performance of their children; have a licensed bar with a concession for the time and sell advertising for these matches. The profits from these tournaments are high and the local registration fees are still under control. (Hockey Tournaments are they doing more harm than good?)

These tournaments were under control till a few years back, but since the number of tournaments has increased, the costs of running these tournaments have become very high. Thus the games in these tournaments are being made shorter, the entry fees are being increased and prices for admissions to the ground have increased. The profit making has also been understood by the municipalities and they are now trying to make money through renting of ice during tournaments than during the other weekends. This makes them schedule as many tournaments as possible. Even the coaches want their teams to go to tournaments as much as possible. The organizers of tournaments also try to pull in as many games as possible during the period for which they have taken the ground on hire. The conditions lead to a problem in officiating for the referees and others. (Hockey Tournaments are they doing more harm than good?)

For the officials these sessions are very tiring and they also have to be very sharp during their supervision of the game. They often have to supervise as many as three or four games in a row. This cannot be avoided as there are not enough referees in the country. The referee also finds it very difficult to supervise the games of the same team more than once during the same day and this also may happen more than once during a tournament. The decisions of the referee are not often liked by the teams as they feel that the referee has been unjust to them, and due to this reason referees prefer to officiate in games of the same team only once during any particular tournament. In these tournaments, it is possible that a person has to referee a game with one team in the morning and the contest may turn out to be extremely competitive. It just may happen that the same referee will have to take up a game with the same team later during the same day. This is not a preferred choice, but it happens in these tournaments. The referee, the players, coaches and fans have already met one another before during the same day, and they will have preconceived notions about each other's behavior. The emotional depth increases with the number of matches that a referee has to supervise for the same team, and it can be well imagined for a referee who is compelled to supervise the third match for a team within two days.

Tournaments also tend to bring out the worst in parents and coaches who have come to the tournaments with the teams of youth hockey players. The result is super-charged emotional games for them, and they tend to burst at any time. Often the teams have traveled quite a distance to get to the place of the tournament and the accompanying families are already incurring a lot of expenditure on hotels, food, and other matters. This makes them desire to win at all costs. In addition to this the games have been shortened for the purpose of being able to organize the tournament in the time available, and that makes people be on the edge while the tournament is going on. (Hockey Tournaments are they doing more harm…

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